Wax Fabric Tutorial

In my last post I mentioned I had a whole lot more to say about waxing fabric, so here we are today with a little tutorial on how to make your own waxed fabric.  I looked around and found a little bit of information, which gave me a great starting point.

Here are the supplies you need:

  • beeswax (I grabbed mine here)
  • paraffin wax (I found it in the grocery store next to the canning supplies)
  • double boiler
  • paper cup
  • heat gun or blow dryer

 

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I started with equal parts paraffin wax and beeswax (and just for reference, I used 3 oz. of each).  I placed these two waxes into a double boiler (in my case, a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) and slowly melted the two waxes together.  Give it a stir.

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Grab an empty paper cup.

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Pour your wax mixture into the cup and let it dry.  (You can see my wax cracked while it was drying which was no big deal at all.)

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Peel away the top layer of the cup which will then give you some wax to work with.

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This next step, I tried a few tools.  I tried a blow dryer, the outside sunshine and my embossing heat gun.  Both the blow dryer and the heat gun worked great (sadly the sun wasn’t hot enough, which is crazy because it is summer in Florida right now).  Use your heating tool and warm up the fabric by passing your heating tool over it a couple times.  Now warm up your wax, until it is glistening on top.  Once your wax is shiny, rub it on the fabric.  Here are a few waxing tips for you:

  • Try your best to apply an even coat.
  • Work in small areas of your fabric.
  • This tip I found at Radiant Home Studio, but when you are applying the wax, one direction will cause the fabric to wrinkle.  Apply the wax in the direction that is easiest.

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Once you have your fabric waxed, run the heat gun (or blow dryer) over it again to let the wax soak into the fabric.  This step is fun, because the wax literally seeps into the fabric.  You can go back over your fabric a second (or third) time if you would like.  I found that I had a hard time getting a very even coat, and tried fixing my unevenness with my second and third coat.  My fabric ended up a bit splotchy, but I love the worn look it gives the fabric.

Wax Fabric Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Sewing with waxed fabric, I did most of my sewing before waxing the bag.  I didn’t want to gunk up my sewing machine.  That’s it!  Enjoy your water resistant fabric!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Caravan Tote

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Woo hoo! It’s round three of the Super Online Sewing Match, and I’m pinching myself that I’m in this competition!  These ladies are all amazingly talented, good sewers, with a good eye for fabric and pattern combinations!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

This round had us sewing the caravan tote, a pattern by Anna from Noodlehead.  I am not a stranger to bag making, in fact, I sew quite a few bags.  I love the attention to details that bags require!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

I actually already owned this pattern, had it all cut out, and then did nothing with it.  That pile of cut out fabric is still waiting for me to sew, but I somehow felt it might be cheating to sew the pattern that I had already cut and set aside. So I looked through my fabric, and had a pair of pants I had sewn sitting in my re purpose pile.  They were pants I just never reached for, but were sewn out of great fabric, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, so I knew I could re use the material!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The bottom of my bag is the linen, and the top of my bag is a cut up canvas drop cloth (leftover from a curtain project for my son’s room).  I wanted to make my tote waterproof, so I looked into how to wax the fabric.  I combined paraffin and beeswax to make my own wax, and set to work.  I’ll do a whole other post about waxing the fabric, but it was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The inside of the tote is lined with Kona Cotton coral fabric, with the linen for the pocket.  I love how Anna has a clip inside her poolside tote pattern, so I added that detail to this tote.  The zipper pocket is lined with a vintage fabric from the thrift store, and the needle pocket was made with coral fabric.  I wish I could say I would load this tote up with my knitting needles, but I just haven’t found my grove with knitting.  My friend who owns a yarn shop says I need to change and try a different project (I’ve only ever started one knitting project).  Who knows, maybe I’ll one day fall in love with knitting!  But for now, these pockets will be filled with pens.

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion DriftCaravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

The pouch that comes along with the caravan tote pattern is such a cute pouch, the perfect size to slip my phone and wallet into when I’m running into the store.  I added a little wrist strap to my pouch, and again lined this one with the vintage thrift store fabric.

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Oh man, I almost forgot to tell you about the straps.  They are from one of Josh’s old belts.  I cut it in half length wise, measured them to size and added the straps with rivets.  I also omitted the magnetic snap and instead used the rest of the belt to make a leather closure, which really holds the bag closed (I was worried it would slip open, but nope)!  The leather is thick for these straps, which had me worried if my rivet posts would be long enough, but it all worked perfectly!  I love the rustic feel the old, used leather adds to the tote!

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

That was a lot of information.  Let me give you a quick rundown of all the info and where I purchased the specialty hardware:

Pattern: Caravan Tote

Exterior Fabric:  Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, Canvas Drop Cloth

Lining:  Kona Cottong Coral, Vintage Thrifted Fabric

Leather:  Re purposed belt

Rivets:  Bag For U (on etsy)

Hook:  Creative Cloth Studio (on etsy)

Zippers:  Zip It (on etsy)

Snaps:  Dritz from Jo Ann

Caravan Tote :: Dandelion Drift

Marianne Dress

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Hey there!  I advanced on to round two of the Super Online Sewing Match, which had me sewing the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes.  I was so happy to get this pattern, this one has been on my radar for a while now!  In fact, when some local friends saw what the second challenge was for the match, they told me right away how the Marianne dress is my style!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I love the cover photos Christine did of the dress, and pretty much just copied her!  I knew I wanted a striped dress, so I called Harts fabric to make sure they had enough yardage of the fabric I wanted.  They were great and shipped it out right away.  The solid white fabric is Robert Kaufman laguna jersey that I grabbed from the Imagine Gnats shop.  And the buttons were from my stash.

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I sewed a quick muslin of the Marianne dress to check the fit and size 6 was perfect.  (My measurements are 34-27-37 if that helps you judge size.)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

One of the great things about sewing patterns is that they are like little mini sewing lessons.  You learn new techniques which can carry over into other patterns.  With the Marianne dress, I had never used clear elastic before.  It is perfect!  There is no pulling on my shoulder seams, leaving my dress looking pretty professional!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I grabbed a few techniques from other patterns to apply to this pattern.  I finished the neckline differently than Christine instructs.  The greenwood tank pattern (by Straight Stitch Designs) has you finish the neck leaving the binding pretty narrow.  I love the feminine look of this finishing technique and have been pretty much applying it to all of my knit tops!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I also added pockets to this pattern.  I love a dress with pockets, but knew that side pockets on a knit dress are not the best.  I have added side seam pockets to a lady skater dress before, and the pockets constantly bunch up and add bulk at my hips.  The pockets I used are from the Cabin pattern (by Blueprints for Sewing).  I love these pockets and thought they would look great with the Marianne dress.  They are called weltless pockets, and are pretty easy to sew up!  (I do have to confess, though, that I was crazy nervous cutting out my weltless pockets when I had to slice into my dress.  But it all worked out great!)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Here’s a quick peak at the inside.  I sewed it all on my serger, except the hem and the neck line, which were done on my regular sewing machine.  (Christine’s instructions are great and walk you through how to use either machine to sew your dress.)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Oooh, last thing.  The stripes.  I was meticulous about matching these stripes, so I pinned, and pinned, and pinned some more.  I tried pinning two different ways and thought I’d share what I learned.  The first side I sewed, I pinned each and every single stripe, with my pins perpendicular to the seam (that was a lot of pins)!  The second side, I pinned with my pins parallel to the seam, with the tip of my pin going into one stripe, and out the second stripe.  Both sides worked great, neither one yielding a different result than the other.  From now on, I’ll be pinning the parallel way, using half as many pins as the other side!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Lace Sutton Blouse

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Did you know I was chosen as a contestant for the Super Online Sewing Match over at Sew Mama Sew?  I’ve been a little quiet about it, probably because I’m a little bit nervous (okay, a lot nervous) but I’m also super excited to compete and sew along!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Our first challenge was to sew the Sutton Blouse (pattern by Kelli over at True Bias). At first that calmed my nerves a bit since I’ve sewn this pattern before and then I started second guessing all of my decisions when I was fabric shopping. Should I choose fabric that can show off my stripe matching skills, or maybe pattern matching skills. And then Josh eventually chimed in with good advice (his advice usually is pretty good) and said “Teresa, you were chosen to compete, so stay true to your style. Sew what you would normally sew and if you are chosen to move on in the competition, then great! If not, you’ve sewn some things that you’ll wear and love.”  Good advice, huh?

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

So here’s my new top, sewn in black rayon challis from the imagine gnats shop. I used the same rayon for my last Sutton (just a different color). Ooh, I should mention, my last Sutton gets worn about once a week, so I knew this fabric would be great for another Sutton. Perfect drape, perfect weight, and it holds up to lots of washes!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

I love the contrast fabric options with the yoke, so i cut my yoke piece out of cotton / nylon / rayon lace fabric from Jo Ann (I liked that the lace wasn’t too flowery and it had great drape). This lace, rayon combo is nothing new. Caroline (from Blackbird Caroline Fabric) has sewn a similar Sutton and I love the look of her top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

My last Sutton I sewed in a size 4, where my measurements put me, and the fit is great! This time, though, I sized down the pattern and sewed a size 2. I knew there was enough ease in the pattern that it would still fit great, just a slimmer silhouette. The only other pattern change I made was when I finished the sleeves. I didn’t want to just fold my lace fabric over, so instead I cut two more one inch wide bias strips from my rayon and finished the sleeves just like the neck.

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift I ironed the shirt, I promise.  Rayon Challis just wrinkles easily, and the light caught my wrinkles just right, agh!

I love how Kelli’s pattern instructions walk you through a beautiful finish inside and out. All of the seams (except the sides) are french seamed. And the sides of my blouse are surged and then turned under and stitched, leaving a clean finish! These pictures below give you a little peek at the insides…

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Phew, round one of the Super Online Sewing Match is done…I’ve never sewn something so meticulously, making sure each seam was perfect! And even better, I love my new top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Striped Dress Tutorial

I know I’m not much of a pattern girl (patterns printed on fabric) when I’m sewing for myself, but stripes, they are a different story.  They send my heart aflutter.  I love their clean lines and simplicity.

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

I have a super simple summer dress tutorial for you, sewn out of the softest rayon knit fabric, in none other than stripes.  In fact, Melissa has been rounding up summer dress tutorials all month long, leaving you with 30 + dresses to inspire you to pull out your sewing machine and make something great this summer!

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Ready for the easy instructions!  Here we go:

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

1.  Grab your favorite tank top and trace around it on your fabric, adding 3/8 inch for seam allowance.  Add length to make it a dress, and about 1 inch at your hips to give your hips some room!  Do the same for the back.

*Stripe tip: to help match your stripes, place your tank top underarm at the same stripe for the front and back.

2.  With right sides together, sew the front and back side seams.  Sew the shoulder seams as well.  Use either your serger or a knit stitch on your sewing machine.

*Stripe tip: to help match your stripes while sewing, pin, pin, and pin some more!  Without pins, your fabric wants to move a little, and nothing is worse than stripes that are just barely off!

3.  Finish off your neck and armhole openings.  I used a knit binding method following this tutorial here!

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

That’s it.  I left my dress hem unfinished, knowing I liked the casual look, but you could easily fold up the bottom hem one inch and stitch in place.

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

P.S.  Melissa has a great giveaway here full of goodies!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

I don’t know what the weather is like around you all, but it is HOT here!  Seriously HOT!  Like five minutes outside and I feel like I am melting!  This summer, I’ve been living in anything loose fitting to help beat the heat, and that means skirts and dresses!  I love shorts and t shirts, but man, even a t shirt is sweltering in this Florida heat!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

My loose, comfy dress department is lacking, so I’m thinking this summer I might need to make a few more southport dresses.  And Closet Case Files just released a pattern for a new maxi dress / jumpsuit!  Definitely on my to sew list!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

But for now I’ve been living in skirts!  Megan Nielsen has a great new free pattern for a circle skirt, with loads of options, the Veronika Skirt.  Since I love a quick sew every now and then, I sewed up the skirt in knit fabric with an elastic waistband.  Super comfy, super simple, and looks like I tried when I got dressed in the morning!  My kind of getting dressed!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

This is sewn in Robert Kaufman laguna jersey, in emerald.  I know I’ve said this a million times before, but I live in a small town with not a lot of fabric buying options.  That leaves the internet to rescue me, and Robert Kaufman’s jersey is a safe buy!  I know it is good quality and will last after many, many washes.

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

Have you added anything new to your summer sewing list?

The London Backpack

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

It’s not often I sew something for Sweet Pea just because.  No reason, but just because.  This bag was not something she needed, nor something she asked for, but I knew this pattern / fabric combination would be perfect for my girl (who sadly is not so very little anymore)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Let me talk first about the fabric.  This is Caroline’s newest fabric line, Happy Home Fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics.  I love the outside fabric with it’s little handwritten words.  My favorite word on the fabric is “chosen” but I knew I wanted to highlight the word “sweet” for my girl, because that just sums up her personality!  I did a little hand stitching in green around the word “sweet” on the front flap just to add a small detail.  The inside fabric is also from the Happy Home Fabric collection (which I love that it coordinates without being matchy matchy)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Okay, the pattern.  This is the London Backpack pattern by Vanessa of LBG studios.  You can find it for sale here (over at Willow and Co.) and the moment I saw it I bought it knowing it would be perfect for Sweet Pea.  She’s at that stage where sleep overs are her favorite thing.  In fact I asked her what was on her summer wish list and all she could think about was sleep overs with her friends.  This backpack is the perfect little overnight bag to tuck away a change of clothes and the little necessities a 10 year old (ahh…almost 11 year old) would need!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

I know I talk a lot about details, but man that is what makes my knees shake when I see a pattern (okay, really my knees aren’t shaking, it’s my purchase finger that is shaking, ha!).  This bag is not a quick sew, and that is something I love.  Vanessa has jam packed this pattern with details, from an interior hanging zipper pocket, a large exterior pocket in the back, grommets for the tie closure, ahhh, I love it all!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

I had a hard time finding the right hardware for the bag.  Sometimes living in a small town can be rough.  Small town = small fabric stores = not a big selection!  I could have ordered hardware online, but I just went with what I had.  I stole the metal strap holders from a purse that was in the donate pile.  And I didn’t have any strap sliders, so I had Sweet Pea try the bag on and I stitched the straps where she wanted them placed.  And the drawstring is just  a shoelace (it was the perfect length)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Well I hope you are having a happy beginning to your summer!  Sweet Pea is now ready with her bag to pack a few things up and have fun with her friends!  No really, as soon as I was done sewing the bag, she asked if she could pack it up and head over to a friend’s house!  Happy summer, I hope it is sweet!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Art Gallery Fabrics provided me with the Happy Home Fabrics (thanks AGF).  Of course, my opinions here are honest and always truthful!

Shoreline Boatneck

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I have this thrifted shirt that is my absolute favorite shirt I own.  It’s a size XL boatneck shirt that I fell in love with because of the colors, and have continued to love because of it’s super slouchiness.  I looked at Melissa’s shoreline boatneck shirt pattern and thought I could recreate that favorite shirt (which now has a couple holes from wearing it so much)!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion DriftShoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion DriftShoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I grabbed a yard of sweater knit fabric from Michael Levine Fabrics and set to work.  I decided to size up this pattern so that I could get just the right amount of slouchiness.  My measurements put me into a size small, but I cut out the size medium.  I  cut the pattern exactly as instructed, except the sleeves and the facings.  I was running out of fabric for the sleeves (Melissa calls for more yardage than I had on hand), so I cut the sleeves an inch shorter than the 3/4 sleeve length.  I then cut cuffs to add to the ens of my sleeves, which ended up perfect so I could wear them scrunched!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

This shirt was entirely sewn on my serger, except for the neckband and the hem finish.  Those were done with my double needle.  I knew my loose sweater knit fabric wouldn’t hold the shape of the neck facing pattern pieces Melissa includes in the pattern.  Instead, I finished my neckline as described here, by Rachael, with a strip of Anna Maria Horner knit.  I love the little peek of flowers this shirt has on the inside while it is hanging up!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I asked my husband, Josh, to snap a few pictures of me the other night, and a couple hours later he said “I didn’t even put it together, you must have made something you are wearing, but it all looks store bought!”  Woot….sweet compliment from a sweet man!  This slouchy sweater knit boatneck is quickly becoming a new favorite!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Work in Progress :: Perfectly Imperfect

Alturas Quilt :: Dandelion Drift

I’m trying to learn a few new sewing techniques, one being needle turn applique.  I love Carolyn Friedlander’s philosophy of slow sewing.  I choose to sew because I enjoy it, and I am in no hurry to get a project done.  I want to enjoy the process of sewing, not just the product!

I picked up one of Carolyn’s patterns and tried a little bit of needle turn applique.  This block is absolutely imperfect, but in my eyes, it’s perfect.  There are little wavy lines where the edge should be straight.  Some places my stitches are visible.  My points are more round than pointy.  But all of these imperfections are perfect to me.  They are my starting point.  They are the beginning of my learning journey.  Perfectly imperfect.

Peek at My Week :: Graduation

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Hey there end of May!  How did you get here so quickly?  This month has truly just flown by!  And the end of May means we are finishing up our school year.  I know a lot of homeschoolers go year round, but we need a break, meaning I (the teacher) needs a break!  And I’m sure the kids need a break from me teaching them too…ha!

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The end of May also means that our good family friend is graduating high school tonight!  Woo hoo.  She’s an incredible girl who is definitely going to become an amazing woman.  She’s off to study art at a great college and I know God has wonderful plans for her future!

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A few months back I snapped a handful of senior pictures for her.  Her beauty just radiates and her joyous spirit is contagious!  Happy end of May!  Happy Graduation!  Happy Friday!

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